Monday, April 2, 2012

Bondir - an Incredible Dining Experiance

Menu and Center Piece
When word spread that Chef Jason Bond was leaving the Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro to start his own restaurant, Boston area foodies got excited.  Bond opened Bondir, a small farm-house style restaurant in Inman Square that focused on local ingredients that dictated each day's menu.  Word quickly spread about how fantastic the new spot was, and it was quickly listed on Bon Appetit's Top New Restaurants of 2011.  Needless to say reservations became hard to come by, and coupled with its location across the water, it sort of became "out of sight, out of mind."

Waiting Area
Finally, Nick called and asked to make reservations for any Friday night, so three weeks from when he called, on a cold and rainy evening we headed to Inman Square for an 8:45 reservation to indulge.  We found the unassuming building on Broadway Street, quickly ran inside and were greeted by a charming bricked foyer with loads of fresh potted herbs scattered about.  While we were a bit early, our table was ready and they brought us right over.  Upon sitting down, I took some time to take in the French Country stylings and the mismatched center pieces and plates.  The soft green pallette and simple wall hangings make for a comfortable atmosphere - like being in a friend's dining room.  Helping complete the feeling was the size of the restaurant - it's tiny!  With two short rows of tables in the seating area, and each side having their own bench seating, I quickly understood why our reservation had to be made so far in advance.

After looking over the extensive wine menu, we finally settled on the 2009 Rainoldi Rosso di Valtellina, a smooth, fruity Italian wine (that was at a good price point to boot).

While discussing and debating the food menu, Nick and I enjoyed a variety of breads made in-house, including a 9 Grain, a Caraway Rye and a bread called "the Sea."  The Sea bread was unlike anything we have had before - it was made with squid ink and lots of salt.  The first bite was a bit odd, but after the second and third, I really was looking to ask for another piece!

After looking over the dishes on the menu it was hard to make a decision.  Luckily, Bondir offers all of its meals in full and half portions!  Our server said that three half plates would equal the size of one entree (curious math, but I'll take it!)  So, our ordering method was to split almost everything on the menu :)  We ordered the soup and then five half entrees to split; basically our very own tasting menu.

First to arrive was the Two Celery Bisque with aged soy hazelnuts and a perigrod truffled vinaigrette - it was too intriguing not to order.  With its creamy depth of flavor with the occasional crunch from the hazelnuts, this was an amazing soup to entice us for the meal to come.

Celery Bisque (normal sized portion)
Soon after the bisque our first half plate arrived: the Parmigiano Celerisotto, Scitaute Scallops and Sea Urchin Roe, Glace of Baby Leeks, Rainbow Carrots, Brussel Sprout Leaves, Roasted Spring Onion and Kalamata Olive Caramel.  The sea urchin was what really drew me to this plate - after our dinner at Clio I wanted more - but I was unsure of all the different components that were on the plate.  Of course there was no need to worry since everything worked perfectly together.  The scallops were cooked well with a lovely sear to top them off.  The celerisotto was surprising creamy and delicious with a surprising taste because you really don't expect the celery when you bite in (even though you know its there).

Paramigiano Celerisotto
The next dishes brought out were our two pastas: the Whole Wheat Cavatelli, Ragu alla Macellaria, Cocoa Nibs and Fiore Sardo Stagionato, and the Rye Flour Tagliatelle, Duck Confit, Butternut Squash, Arrowhead Spinach, Madura Long Pepper and Fresh Ricotta.

Whole Wheat Cavatelli
Rye Flour Tagliatelle 
Both of the pastas were made fresh that day and were a lovely al dente.  The Ragu on the first pasta was a tender rich mixture of meats that were perfect on the cold rainy evening.  Nick's favorite dish of the evening of was the Rye Flour Tagliatelle with all it's fresh winter vegetables.  The rye flavor was not too strong in the pasta, more of a wheat taste than a rye.

After the pastas, it was time to move on to the fish course, specifically the Rhode Island Fluke, Green Cabbage, Romanesco Cauliflower, Mutsu Apple, Pickled Cranberries and Sage Froth.  Fluke (also known as summer flounder) is a mild while fish that was cooked with an amazing golden crispy top crust.  The side of the Mutsu apple was strong and flavorful next to the mild fish.  The sage and the tangy cranberries offset everything nicely.

Rhode Island Fluke
The last entree course to arrive at our table was the Roasted Poussin, White Flint Cornmeal Cake, Fresh Onion, Butternut Squash and Black Lentils.  This was definitely the heartiest of all the dishes but also one of my favorites.  The richness of the cornmeal cake and Poussin contrasted so well with the earthiness of the black lentils.

Roasted Poussin
With all of the dishes there was a surprising mix of ingredients.  In my hands the plate would have been a mess, however, in the hands Chef Bond the plates were a lesson in what flavor dimension and texture is all about.  I am not sure how people would split three half plates a piece because even with the appetizer, we were down an entree and totally full!  No matter how stuffed we were we knew we would be ordering dessert - the food was just too good to not.  In effort to cleanse my pallet (and after seeing the old school espresso machine in the front of the restaurant) I ordered a frothy cappuccino.

Dinning Room (and espresso machine)
Super Frothy Cappuccino
After all the delicious sorbet (including olive oil) we had in the Maldives, Nick ordered the Hondroelia Olive Oil Ice Cream.  It was the perfect scoop of yummy, creamy ice cream to top off the meal.

Olive Oil Ice Cream
Having eyes that are WAY bigger than my stomach, I went with the Chocolate Panna Cotta, Gyokuro-Bergamot Mostarda, Blood Orange Gel, Cocoa Nibs and Pistachio.  This Panna Cotta was unreal!  The consistency was perfect and the chocolate was so rich.  I was not a fan of the jelly candies, but scraped up every bit of the pistachio crumbles on the plate!

Chocolate Panna Cotta
This was one the best meals Nick and I have had in awhile.  The food was so delicious and having the option of ordering a series of smaller plates gave us a great feel for the restaurant and all it had to offer.  The price point wasn't that bad either - about $15 or $16 for the half plates.  For the quality of food and ingredients it easily could have been more than that.  This dinner had some of the most creative dishes I have had, ever!

If you haven't been already, I would highly recommend a trip to Bondir.  If you have already been, I would still recommend making a reservation.  With an ever changing menu of local ingredients there is always something new to try.

Have you tried any fantastic restaurants lately?

Bondir on Urbanspoon


  1. I've been trying to get to Bondir, but we can never get a reservation!

  2. I recently went there on a double date and we called a few months in advance for a Friday night reservation! The dinner, however, was worth the wait. I also really enjoyed the EVOO ice cream.

  3. Bondir has been on my radar and your review only reinforces why i need to make a reservation! I have never had chocolate panna cotta and i definitely want some now.

  4. Bondir is high on my list. So many cool things: the bread, the rye flour pasta. That ice cream looks dreamy.

  5. Even though I have hardly made a dent in the Boston restaurant scene, Bondir is probably my favorite so far. Or it's at least tied with Hungry Mother! This reminds me that I need to try to make another reservation asap...

  6. definitely on my list!! need to call soon :)

  7. I'm amazed you got a reservation after only 3 weeks! Bondir is right around the corner from us and we've been twice. It's pretty solid. I love The Sea bread too!


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